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Thorn Explains: Mages

Thorn Explains: Mages published on 13 Comments on Thorn Explains: Mages

Leif: We don’t even have mages in my country.

Thorn: Then let me tell you how we handle them in Ceannis!

We screen our kids for magical aptitude. Meet the minimums, and you can opt into a whole separate schooling system.

At first, students are taught in small groups, split up by domain. Eventually — once you’re at least thirteen — you move on to an independent work-study program. That’s the stage Holly and her friend Ivy are in.

Holly: She’s still not my friend!

Some (not all) possible domains: Water, Fire, Nature, Stars

Thorn: You can get a sense for how advanced a mage is by how fancy their outfits are. As they level up, they get more frills, more jewels . . . If you see a staff, that’s serious business. Self-taught mages usually don’t get nearly that strong.

Leif: What do you do if a mage turns evil?

Thorn: Ideally, we track them down and fit them with magitech that blocks them from transforming.

Leif: And not-ideally?

Thorn: We, uh . . . kill them. Hopefully without too many other people dying first.

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So why don’t they have mages in Sonheim?

Different kind of magic. Same reason gems with spells from one region won’t run in the other.

Biologically Sonska people born south of the mountains have developed southern magic — including the fire mage example in this strip — but that usually leads to… problems. (More on that later.)

What about biologically Ceannic people born north of the mountains?

Also, now I’m really intrigued by the idea of a setting that has magic but no mages. We’ve seen Sonska magical tools and their effects, and now I really want to know where they originate from and how they’re crafted into forms that are useful to humans. (Assuming that leaf-manipulation crystals &etc aren’t naturally occurring, of course.)

What do people in Sonnheim call someone who makes magical tools- an enchanter? Artificer? Is it an innate aptitude, or a skill that anyone can learn? Do domains figure into it anywhere? (Does Sonnheic magic have the same domains as Ceannic magic?) Aaaaa, this is exciting.

In no particular order….

Northern magic can be drawn out of the environment artificially — by anyone — like electricity being drawn out of a potato battery. Once you channel it into a gem, you can program that gem to be self-charging, which can work indefinitely if the quality of their crystalline structure is high enough.

Southern magic needs to be channeled by mages and/or spirits. Gems that run on southern magic will need their charge refreshed periodically, usually every few years, no matter how high-quality.

Magical toolmakers in various roles are called engineers, programmers, and coders. Anyone, regardless of biology, can learn these skills…although some people have more aptitude for it than others.

And the origins of spelltech are lost to the mists of prehistory. Most northern cultures have myths about it.

So do Stars mages get actual nuclear fusion based attacks at higher levels?

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